By Kevin Saleeba, Chamber Correspondent

WORCESTER – Underneath the blast of generic country music playing from the Fitton Field PA speakers, the distinct ping of baseballs hitting aluminum bats echoed throughout the ballpark. The Holy Cross men’s varsity baseball team was taking batting practice prior to an April game. Watching from the stands was the new president of the Worcester Bravehearts, Matthew Vaccaro, and Bravehearts general manager, Dave Peterson.

Vaccaro’s father, Frank, and his family recently bought the Bravehearts from John Creedon, Jr. earlier this year. Matthew Vaccaro said the team will remain in Worcester and continue to call Fitton Field home for its Futures Collegiate League (FCL) games this summer. “We always wanted to own a sports franchise,” Vaccaro said. Earlier this year, Vaccaro was approached by the Creedon family about selling the team. “The Creedons got a substantial contract for their catering business, Creedon and Co. Catering. That was going to take up a lot of their time. Then they approached us.”

The Bravehearts will start their 11th season in late May. They will tie the American Hockey League’s former Worcester IceCats (1994-05) team as the longest running sports organization in the city’s history. Vaccaro, a founding member and president of his family’s Worcester-based company, Masis Staffing Solutions, has had a longtime love for baseball. In fact, the Vaccaro name is closely associated with baseball in Central Massachusetts. Frank Vaccaro, along with sons Matt and Frankie, has coached the Shrewsbury American Legion Post 397 for two decades. The Post hosted the Northeast Regional Tournament at Fitton Field six times and advanced to the American Legion World Series in 2017, 2019 and 2022. Matt Vaccaro was a catcher for the Framingham State University, graduating in 2006. He also played for the now defunct Worcester Tornadoes collegiate team in 2005. The Tornadoes were managed by current WooSox batting coach and Red Sox Hall of Famer Rich Gedman.

“Baseball has always been a passion,” he said. “It’s really a first love … That love of baseball has never gone away.”

Owning a team close to home was very important for the Vacarro family. “We live in Shrewsbury and having the opportunity to own a sports franchise really intrigued us. Sometimes timing is just right.” Vaccaro said owning a team in Worcester is very surreal. “Here I am on the other side of the field as an owner instead of a player,” he said.  “I remember the magic from the first year of the Tornadoes and how the fans really enjoyed it. It brought out businesses and brought a smile on kids’ faces … We want to recreate the success that the Creedon family had over the last 10 years owning the Bravehearts, while adding our own personal touch to this new endeavor. “We are honored to continue the tradition of the Worcester Bravehearts and will strive to deliver a product that the city can be proud of, both on and off the field,” he said.

The Creedon family released a statement about the transfer of the team to the Vaccaro family. John Creedon said, “my family and I could not be more excited to pass the Bravehearts’ torch to our friends and neighbors, the Vaccaro family. They will continue the incredible run that the Bravehearts have enjoyed over the last decade, and will no doubt enhance it with their own style and touches. Frank, Matt, and the entire Vaccaro family are absolutely first-class in business, in baseball, and in the community. Bravehearts fans and the Bravehearts franchise are in the best hands moving into the future.”

Creedon said he is thankful to all of Bravehearts nation. “My family and I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the entire ‘Hearts Fam’ which includes the thousands of fans; hundreds of players, coaches, ballpark staff, and concessions staff; the incredible host families; our years-long sponsors, suppliers, and supporters; and, also, our landlord Holy Cross College. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to have been the stewards of the national pastime here in our hometown. The Bravehearts’ decade of excellence has never been about any one person, rather it was built by a team of supremely talented folks who worked their tails off, quietly operated with respect, defied the odds, cheerfully overcame adversity, enjoyed some wins, set some records, and pulled it all off with aplomb (style).”

The Bravehearts launched in October of 2013. They filled a one-year baseball void left by the Worcester Tornadoes, who played at Fitton from 2005-12, but folded from accumulating too much debt. The Bravehearts has since become a model organization across the country in all of summer collegiate baseball, both on and off the field. They have welcomed more than 505,000 fans through the Fitton Field gates since their inaugural season in 2014. Recently, the team’s attendance has increased by 45 percent. In the last three seasons, 53,605 people have attended games. On the field, Worcester has captured the second-most championships in FCL history with four, going back-to-back on two occasions in 2014-15 and 2018-19. Worcester is one of three teams to win more than 300 regular-season games in the league, while its 23 postseason victories are second all-time.

“It is no small feat for the Bravehearts to have started in 2013 as the only sports team in the city, and to now be the longest running sports team in Worcester history with an immensely bright future ahead,” Creedon said. My family and I could not be prouder of the Bravehearts’ past, and eagerly look forward to the team’s future success under the leadership of the Vaccaro family.”

“We want to add our own personal touch to this new endeavor,” Matt Vaccaro said. “We’re so excited to offer an all-inclusive experience for every fan at our stadium this season.” Fans who have 2023 Worcester Bravehearts Ticket Vouchers will be able to use them as a $10 credit to any Bravehearts home game. Also, the Bravehearts will be the first team in the Northeast to offer All-You-Can-Eat for every ticket sold in the entire ballpark. For the 2024 season, any fan who purchases a Bravehearts ticket will get access to unlimited hot dogs, burgers, chicken nuggets, sausages, soft drinks and more. The All-You-Can-Eat menu will be announced at a later date. However, the team has confirmed they will offer vegetarian options included in All-You-Can-Eat for those with dietary restrictions. Additional concessions items such as Chicken Tenders, Pizza, Ice Cream, and Fried Dough will also be available for purchase.

The team will host three “Baseball in Education Day Field Trip Games” on June 4 and 6 and July 25. These games will not be included in the All-You-Can-Eat promotion, however students who come with a school will receive lunch during the game.

Season Tickets and All-You-Can-Eat Flex Vouchers are now on sale and can be purchased at For more information, email